Hello anglers! March is the month I believe we all look forward to the most. The month itself is viewed by many as a springboard to catapult us into summer fishing action. Despite the intensity of those last few cold fronts, the water temperatures should be on the rise. This will welcome many migratory species into our local waters. Water temperature is a driving force that often moves fish up and down our coastline as well as initiates pattern changes inside the bay system. Bait fish will be more plentiful, which often triggers more predators to feed more aggressively.
BAY: Trout and redfish will still be in or near those bayous, creeks, and canals. Live baits and soft plastics fished slow and low will be the ticket. If you see any finger mullet action on top, it would be a good time to break out a top water plug. We should see Spanish mackerel arriving by the end of the month. Keep those spoons, gotcha plugs, and trolling rigs ready and watch for birds bombing the surface. Let me remind you if you see folks trolling, please be courteous and respect their trolling patterns to avoid crossing lines. Deeper structures should be holding bull reds, sheepshead, black drum and a few others. Live shrimp and crab variations fished on bottom will produce for sure.
GULF: Bottom fishing near shore will be picking up. Target those bottom fish near reefs with fresh cut and live bait combinations. Remember an early season cobia isn’t unheard of, so have that one designated rod rigged for the occasion. Large jigs, eel imitations, and a multitude of live baits rigged on a medium-heavy weight spinning rod will all get it done. Don’t forget that 80- to 100-pound fluorocarbon leader.
SURF: Pompano fishing should start getting much better. Live shrimp or sand fleas fished on bottom with light tackle is perfect. Spanish mackerel will be cruising the beaches so bring some casting spoons or gotcha plugs. I like 30- to 40-pound fluorocarbon leaders for toothy Spanish. If you’re catching, remember to keep an eye on that leader near the lure, they get damaged quickly during a good bite. Good luck.
Thanks for reading and fish on!
CAPT. JASON SHINGLER
Adrenaline On H20
Panama City, FL